The Travelski Express direct train service using Eurostar from London St. Pancras to the French Alps is returning for the 22/23 season, with some enhancements from its debut last winter, its operators say.
The Travelski Express service replaced the cancelled Eurostar ‘Ski Train’ option direct to French ski towns like Moûtiers and Brides-les-Bains, however it operates more like a package holiday with travel by rail instead of flights. You can’t buy a rail only ticket, but a package with transfers, accommodation and lift pass to selected resorts.
Travelski Express say their service will be running from 17th December 2022 with the final return on the 15th April 2023 next winter. Packages go on sale today, 8th June.
“Following feedback from many of the 5000 plus UK skiers carried last season, and drawing on Eurostar’s operational experience, the train will now run outbound from London on Saturday morning, arriving in the heart of the Alps (Moutiers and Bourg St Maurice) on Saturday afternoon. A refining of the included transfers means that skiers will now be taken from the station to their accommodation (or as close as is possible under local access laws) in plenty of time to get checked in and their kit sorted for the following day. The return train will leave on Saturday evening, giving guests an almost full day of skiing on Saturday. This will arrive into London St Pancras early on Sunday morning (exact time to be finalised),” a Travelski Express statement explains.
Rail travel, the original way to go on skiing holidays, may be a good fit for skiers looking at current travel headlines and the bigger picture of the climate crisis.
The environmentally advantageous nature of the direct train is unchanged. Each passenger journey on the direct Travelski Express emits less than a quarter of the carbon of a passenger opting to fly to Geneva and transfer to the resort from there. In research commissioned for Snowcarbon.co.uk, it was found that 18.47 Kg of CO2 was generated per passenger for a direct rail trip from London compared with 78.44 kg per passenger taking a flight from London Gatwick to Geneva and then a transfer to resort. That’s four and a quarter times more CO2 emissions.
For the season launch resorts featured are unchanged at Val d’Isere, Tignes, Meribel, Les Arcs, Brides Les Bains, Les Menuires and La Plagne. However the company has hinted that more destination choices may be added before next winter, saying,
“Further announcements on the portfolio of resorts on offer will follow.”
CEO of Travelski, Guillaume de Marcillac, comments “we were really happy with the reaction of British skiers to our new direct train packages. Despite a challenging start to the season, we carried over 5100 skiers. We have listened to their feedback and have decided to switch the train timings to a daytime service at the start of the holiday, rather than at the end. In addition, transfers will now deliver guests as close as we are allowed to their chosen accommodation. They will, however, still have the longer ski period that is one of the many advantages of taking the direct train. We are also working on further enhancements, but these will be announced once confirmed.”
Francois Le Doze, Chief Commercial Officer at Eurostar, said: “We are pleased to extend our partnership with Travelski this year, which will enable passengers to travel direct between the UK and the Alps by high-speed rail. Following the challenges of the pandemic, our collaboration last season was shortened significantly, and so this will be the first time Eurostar will be offered as part of a package across the whole ski season. We are confident that British skiers will welcome the return of the service and the choice of a more sustainable travel option for their ski holiday.”